By Saturday afternoon, temperatures had returned to the mid-20's after plunging into the single digits Friday night, as the area continued to dig out from this week's snowstorm.
Warming centers opened around the region, homeless shelters saw larger crowds and cities in the New York area are taking special measures to look after those most vulnerable to the cold. Outreach teams were searching New York City streets for homeless people at risk of freezing to death.
The weekend will see rising temperatures before another blast of frigid air arrives from the Midwest, where forecasters say cold temperature records will probably be broken Sunday. An unusual combination of weather conditions is pushing freezing air down from the North Pole, and funneling it as far south as the Gulf Coast.
Temperature predictions include 25 below zero in Fargo, N.D., minus 31 in International Falls, Minn., and 15 below in Indianapolis and Chicago. Sunday's playoff game in Green Bay could be among one of the coldest NFL games ever played.
The nor'easter that dumped up to a foot of snow forced schools and offices to close across the region. Governor Cuomo in New York and Governor Christie in New Jersey declared states of emergency, urging residents to stay home.
Airports struggled to resume normal operations after U.S. airlines canceled around 2,200 flights Friday, on top of 2,300 the day before, causing nightmares at airports from New York to Chicago.
The bulk of the canceled flights were in New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago and Washington, D.C.
SNOW STORM RECAP
New York City received between 6 to 11 inches of snow. Central Park recorded 6 inches of snow. Elsewhere in the city, Ozone Park, Queens, was on record with the highest total at 10.5 inches.
Mayor Bill de Blasio tackled his first snowfall as New York City mayor by shoveling the sidewalk outside his Brooklyn home. He began clearing the snow outside his Park Slope home Friday morning.
Wearing a black jacket and gloves, de Blasio joked with reporters and demonstrated proper shoveling techniques.
He said all primary streets and most secondary and tertiary roads have been plowed. He cautioned, however, that because of high winds blowing snow, some of the streets may have to be plowed again. De Blasio said Queens and Brooklyn received extra attention because they got the most snow.
More than a foot of snow fell on parts of Nassau County, and many roads and sidewalks were still being cleared Saturday. Snow plow operators said the freezing temperatures were making the job that much tougher. The Long Island Expressway reopened Friday morning, but anyone travelling the highway was still being urged to use caution and drive slowly.
LIRR trains are running on a normal weekend schedule now.
A freezing rain advisory has been issued until Sunday at 11 a.m. in New Jersey for Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex and Somerset counties, and until Sunday at 2 p.m. for Morris, Warren, and Sussex counties. Schools, government offices and businesses closed Friday after more than 10 inches of snow accumulated in some areas of New Jersey and ushered in bitterly cold temperatures.
More than 200 accidents were reported in Connecticut, where the winter storm was followed by record-breaking frigid temperatures. State police reported 224 accidents with 25 minor injuries and 2,719 calls for service by Friday morning. Much of the state received 4 to 8 inches of snow. The coldest temperatures overnight were recorded at Willimantic at 2 degrees below zero. T.F. Green Airport in Warwick registered 4 degrees.
New York City's Severe Weather Website: www.nyc.gov/severeweather or call 311.
New Yorkers are also encouraged to sign up for the Notify NYC, the City's free emergency notification system. Through Notify NYC, New Yorkers can sign up for receive phone calls, text messages, and emails alerts about severe weather events and emergencies. To sign up for Notify NYC, call 311, visit www.nyc.gov or follow @ NotifyNYC on Twitter.